Wednesday, December 17, 2008
King Ranch Chicken and Italian Cookies
Everything is bigger in Texas. Everything is cheesier, spicier, beefier and tastier.
It's a state law I say that. Though I do agree.
Meet King Ranch Chicken. No one's quite sure where this tasty little dish comes from, other than it's named after one of the biggest ranches in South Texas. Legend has it a ranch hand whipped this up, while others say it's a Texas twist on Chicken a La King. I don't particularly care either way. The only thing I need to know is it's good, easy to make and seriously Texan. And it is. So I'm done.
King ranch chicken is basically a spicy (but not too spicy) enchilada casserole. It's got corn tortillas, chopped chicken, Rotel and green chilies and plenty of cheese. I add black beans to mine for kicks, but it's not the traditional Texan way. If you really want to knock the socks off of the folks at home, make this the night before and let it marinate for awhile. I'll guarantee you that you'll have trouble not eating the whole pan in one sitting.
Not that I've ever done that. Ahem.
After such a flavorful dinner, it's a Texas rule that one must have a cookie.
I just made that up. But it sounds good doesn't it?
So if you have a hankering for sweets like I do 24 hours a day, why not mosey over to a basket of Italian cookies and see what happens?
Since the Blond Duck is always honest, I'll admit I goofed while trying to half the recipe and dumped too many eggs and then too much flour to overcompensate, turning out these sweet shortbread like treats. I loved them. That's all that counts.
A little icing and sprinkles can cheer up everyone's day. It's Christmas. We all need a cookie. Or three.
Or a basket, if you're me.
King Ranch Chicken the Blond Duck way
3-4 chicken breasts, boiled and chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag sharp cheddar cheese
12 corn tortillas
1 can black beans
1 can rotel, drained
1 can mild green chilies
Chili powder to taste (I use a lot)
Onion and garlic powder to taste
A little extra cheese for sprinkling
Mix soup, rotel, chilies, black beans and seasonings in pot. Add cheese. Stir until cheese melts and mixture is somewhat warm. Cover greased casserole dish with tortillas. Spoon generous glob of mixture over it, then sprinkle chicken and cheese. Repeat layers two or three more times, depending on how much mixture and chicken you have. Cover top layer with tortillas and rest of mixture, then sprinkle some cheese. Bake at 375 for thirty minutes.
I never said it was healthy.
Italian Cookies from my favorite sweets book:
6 cups all purpose flour
2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1-1/2 cup of sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 lb. shortening, melted and cooled
Combine first three ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Blend eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla together, mix in cooled shortening. Stir into flour mixture. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 450 degrees for 8-10 min or until golden brown. Makes 6 dozen.
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, blend on low speed for one minute. Increase speed to medium. Blend until fluffy about two minutes.
Stay tuned Invisible Friends! Tomorrow we have a new Twirl and Friday we have an Ode to Christmas Cookies and how I love thee. Saturday the Fuzzy Duck and Rubber Chicken go on their third date--and drama arises!